Eugene Maclin Revelle, 92, of Sesser, Illinois died Friday, February 26, 2010 at the home
of his sister, Eunice Ritter, in Pinckneyville, Illinois, where he had spent the last
several years in failing health. "Gene" was born June 3, 1917, in Sunfield,
Illinois, the son of Axum Revelle and Elsie Martel Revelle. He attended Sunfield School
and graduated from DuQuoin Township High School in 1935 during the Great Depression.
In 1938 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was stationed near Contact, Nevada
helping build a new CCC camp. Here he learned welding, surveying, mechanics, and other
valuable skills. In 1942 he began working for Pacific Bridge Company and was immediately
transferred to Hawaii to help in the construction of overhead cranes and dry docks and in
the raising of United States ships sunk when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He then
worked for the United States Army Engineers on the Island of Guam and was there when the
Japanese surrendered in 1945. In 1945-46 he was involved in loading a huge electric power
plant and a giant suction dredge into a dry overhead cranes and dry docks and in the
raising of United States ships sunk when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He then worked
for the United States Army Engineers on the Island of Guam and was there when the Japanese
surrendered in 1945. In 1945-46 he was involved in loading a huge electric power plant and
a giant suction dredge into a dry dock and towing it 1600 miles north into Tokyo Bay. They
built the long runway for the International Airport there called Haneda.
This completed, he returned home to the United States. In 1948 he began working for
Chicago Bridge & Iron, a company that erected oil storage tanks and refinery pressure
vessels. This work took him to many areas in the United States, Asia, South Africa,
Europe, and the Middle East as oil discoveries were being developed in the Arabian Gulf,
the Middle East, and the North Sea. He also spent 8 months in Thule, Greenland, working
with a consortium building Thule Air Base for the U.S. Army.
He retired from the Chicago Bridge & Iron company in 1982 and returned to Southern
Illinois, where he started and ran a used car business in Sesser until 1998, when he
retired for health reasons, including progressive blindness secondary macular degeneration
In 1948 he married Vera Defur of DuQuoin. They were together for several years and raised
a son, Lance Corporal Glenn U. Revelle, who was killed in VietNam in 1967. In 1967 he
married Kiymet Mavisu in Istanbul, Turkey, and upon Gene's retirement, they called
Sesser, Illinois and Los Angeles, California their homes.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his son Glenn, his wives Vera and Kiymet,
three brothers, Howard Revelle of Lexington, Illinois, Elmer "Tug" Revelle of
Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Glenn M. Revelle of Crossville, Tennessee; two sisters,
Evalyn Madge in infancy, and Elnora (Frank) Shurtz of Sesser, Illinois. He is survived by
two sisters, Verda Lou (Todd) Stevison of Sesser and Eunice (Leo) Ritter of Pinckneyville,
two sisters-in-law, Edna (Howard) Revelle of Lexington, Illinois, and Louann (Glenn)
Revelle of Crossville, Tennessee, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Gene loved his work and his family. He loved classic cars and Nascar racing. A wonderful
singer, he loved country western music and would surprise and delight friends and family
by breaking into song. He knew the love of Jesus and was thankful to the Good Lord for his
full and exciting life and that he would dwell with his Heavenly Father.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Nine Mile Cemetery Association. Searby Funeral Home of
DuQuoin is handling arrangements. Visitation will be on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 from 5PM -
8PM. The funeral service will be on Wednesday, March 3rd at 11 AM at Searby Funeral Home,
with Rev. Tim Bauersachs officiating. Interment will follow in the Sunset Memorial Park.